The seminar considered the prospects for democracy and the idea , expressed in the works of scholars Larry Diamond and Yascha Mounk among others, that democracy is in a period of recession or even crisis as it faces threats from disengagement, illiberal populism, and a resurgent autocracy.

Representing POLSIS, Dr Mark Wenman argued that political theorists had romanticised democracy and suggested that it was values associated with liberalism and constitutionalism that were in crisis, more than democracy itself. Dr Karin Bottom of INLOGOV presented on political parties, questioning whether these could maintain their position as the main vehicle for democracy against a context of weakening ties between parties and publics. Representing IDD, Professor Nic Cheeseman focused on democracy in Africa, arguing that although African democracy faced real challenges, it was performing better than the received wisdom would suggest, with public support for democracy remaining high.

Dr Mark Goodwin, convenor of the POLSIS seminar series commented,

"This was a fascinating event which really illustrated the range and depth of expertise across the School. The panel provided three very different but equally insightful takes on the challenges facing democracy. The event shows our commitment to engaging with the most significant questions in contemporary politics and international relations and provides a fantastic opportunity for both staff and students to come together to debate these issues."

Recorded: Wednesday 14 March 2018 (15:00 - 16:30)
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